1. Name and Headquarters of the Association
The association bears the name of “Deutsche Kniegesellschaft (German Knee Society)”, abbreviated as “DKG”. The association is headquartered in Munich (c/o Department for Orthopedics and Sports Orthopedics at the University Hospital Klinikum rechts der Isar, Ismaninger Str. 22, D- 81675 Munich) and is entered in the Register of Associations held by the Local Court of Munich; the name listed in the entry is “Deutsche Kniegesellschaft (German Knee Society) e.V.”.
2. Responsibilities of the Association
The “Deutsche Kniegesellschaft (German Knee Society)” is a specialist medical association. Its aim is to promote research as well as basic and further training in the prevention, diagnosis, and surgical and conservative treatment of injuries, diseases, deformities, and wear of the knee joint as well as the periarticular structures in the locomotor system. In doing so it supports science and research, professional training and public healthcare. The purpose of the statutes is fulfilled specifically by organizing regular scientific events, commissioning research from aides as defined in Section 57 of the German Fiscal Code (Abgabenordnung), and collaborating with other medical science institutes.
Close contact and exchange should be facilitated between physicians, therapists and scientists working in the field. Contact should also be established with other societies that have the same or related interests. The “German Knee Society” may enter into official collaborations with specialist associations both in Germany and abroad.
The professional work of the association lies in illustrating how injuries, diseases, deformities and wear of the knee joint and the periarticular structures in the locomotor system can be prevented, diagnosed and treated, providing information to the general public, associations, policy makers, healthcare service providers, authorities and ministries, self-regulatory organizations, funding bodies for statutory and private healthcare and accident insurance, other healthcare institutions, and other scientific societies and associations.
The society comprises full members, associate members, honorary members, and supporting members. Full members of the association may be physicians or scientists from Germany or abroad who work with injuries, diseases, deformities and wear of the knee joint as well as periarticular structures in the locomotor system, either in medical practice or in research. Only full members may be elected as executives of the society.
Affiliate members may be medical students, individuals, associations or corporations that are connected with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of injuries, diseases, deformities and wear of the knee joint and the periarticular structures in the locomotor system. The aforementioned individuals, associations and corporations have no voting rights but are obliged to pay subscriptions. The aforementioned medical students are exempt from paying a membership subscription until they reach the age of 28. As affiliate members, students are granted free entry to the society’s annual congress. The aforementioned students have the right to vote but may not be elected.
The following applies to full and affiliate members: Applications for obtaining membership and acceptance into the society should be addressed to the secretary and must be supported by two regular members acting as referees. The committee shall decide whether or not to grant membership. It is not obliged to provide applicants with the reasons why an application is denied.
Associate members are appointed following a proposal from full members and must be unanimously voted in by the committee. Deserving individuals, particularly foreign physicians and researchers whom the German Knee Society deems to have rendered great services in the field, should be appointed as associate members. Associate members have no voting rights and are exempt from paying subscriptions. Honorary members may be individuals whom the German Knee Society deems to have rendered great services in the field. They are elected in the same manner as associate members. Honorary members have active and passive voting rights but are not required to pay subscriptions.
4. Withdrawal and Expulsion
Membership shall expire: a) upon the death of a person or dissolution of a legal entity as the case may be; b) upon withdrawal from the society after sending a written notice of cancellation to the committee three months before the end of the calendar year and having paid the membership subscription; c) after being struck off the list of members as a result of failing to meet financial obligations to the German Knee Society; d) following expulsion voted on in a secret ballot at the General Meeting and requiring a three-quarters majority of the votes present.
The General Meeting is the supreme body of the society and generally takes place in conjunction with the annual congress. The committee shall invite members to the General Meeting in writing or via email, stating the agenda, at least ten days before the event. A Special General Meeting must be called if a third of all members demand it, stating the purpose and reasons for this. The General Meeting shall pass its resolutions with a simple majority of the votes present. Votes shall either be cast by raising hands or collecting electronic data. The committee may conduct votes in secret ballots. Minutes must be taken as a record of all resolutions and signed by the chair of the meeting and the keeper of the minutes or the secretary.
The committee is responsible for managing the association. The committee comprises the president, the vice president, the secretary, the treasurer, the keeper of the minutes and the advisory board consisting of a maximum of nine members.
The president represents the association in public and among other scientific associations in Germany and abroad. He or she chairs the General Meeting and committee meetings. In the event that he or she is prevented from conducting presidential duties, the president shall be represented by the vice president.
The secretary represents the interests of the association in agreement with the committee. In consultation with the president, he or she shall assist him or her with organization and communications. The treasurer is responsible for the financial affairs of the association and is in charge of collecting membership subscriptions. He or she provides a treasurer’s report at the General Meeting. The treasurer’s report is formally approved by the General Meeting. The keeper of the minutes represents the secretary. He or she takes minutes of the committee meetings. He or she is also responsible for the society’s website.
The committee has a quorum when over half of its members are present. The committee is elected with a simple majority of the votes present at the General Meeting for a two-year term. The president may be re-elected for a maximum of one further term of two years. Once the presidency comes to an end, he or she automatically becomes a member of the advisory board for the next term. The vice president is the president elected for the second next term. He or she represents the president in all matters. The president and vice president are the legal representatives of the association. The secretary and keeper of the minutes may be re-elected for a maximum of two further terms of two years. The term of office of members of the advisory board without any special functions should not exceed six years. The committee may vote on the formation of sub-committees and working groups.
For the purposes of Section 26 of the German Civil Code (BGB), the committee is the president and vice president. Each committee member represents the society individually.
a) The association’s fiscal year is equivalent to the calendar year (Jan 1 – Dec 31); b) the annual accounts shall be inspected by two auditors elected by the General Meeting for a term of two years. Instead of electing auditors from among the members, a professional agency or qualified person who is not a member may be appointed.
8. Membership Subscriptions
The level of membership subscriptions is decided by the General Meeting with a simple majority of votes. The subscription year is equivalent to the calendar year (Jan 1 – Dec 31). The membership subscription is €100.00 per year for full members, unless the General Meeting specifies a different sum.
9. Amendment of the Statutes
Proposals for amendments to the statutes must be submitted to the president six weeks prior to the General Meeting and must be sent to all members with the agenda. The General Meeting decides on amendments to the statutes with a two-thirds majority of the vote.
10. Charitable Status
The association is a nonprofit organization. The association exclusively and directly pursues charitable goals as defined in the third section of the second part of the German Fiscal Code, and does not act primarily in its own financial interest. The association’s funds may only be used for purposes laid down in the statutes. Members may not receive a share of the profits, nor any other financial contributions from the association’s funds in their capacity as members. No individual may benefit from payments from the association that are not related to the purpose of the association, or that constitute disproportionately high remuneration.
Once the association is registered it should strive to obtain recognition of its charitable status.
11. Dissolution of the Association or Cessation of Eligibility for Tax Relief
A resolution to dissolve the German Knee Society strictly requires a three-quarters majority of the votes present. This should be included as an item on the agenda provided to members along with proposals as to how the association’s assets should be used thereafter. In the event that the association is dissolved or ceases to be eligible for tax relief, its assets should be transferred to another tax-favored corporation or a corporation under public law, to be defined in the General Meeting, for the purpose of promoting science and research. Such a transfer should occur on the condition that the recipient will, in turn, use such assets exclusively and directly for tax-favored purposes as defined in Section 52(2)(1) of the German Fiscal Code. No reimbursements shall be made to members.